NFL Changes I’d Like to See

2 of 2

I would like to see the ball always spotted on a yard marker. Maybe you always move it back, maybe you always move it forward, maybe you always move it to the closest one (though that brings some judgment back into play). When one team kicks off and it’s a touchback, the other team gets the ball on the 20 and you know they have to make it to the 30 for a first down. Why not have that same certainty during the entire game? If a player catches a pass at the 35½, move the ball to the 35 and you’re in the same situation, that team now has to make it to the 45 for a first down. Simple. You eliminate questionable spot calls as well as countless play stoppages while the referees bring the chain gang onto the field to measure and spot the ball.

Also, keep in mind that in no category does the NFL recognize half yards so there really wouldn’t be any effect on statistics.

2. Upgrade the officiating

This would be done in two parts. One, institute some type of annual fitness test for all on field officials. In general, I think NFL officials do a great job. However, like players, referees can “lose it” at any time. If the NFL tracked and monitored physical performance, they would be able to easily tell if the officials were still in proper shape to keep up with the plays and get into proper position.

The second part is a bit more general but also very simple – I want as many correct calls as possible. To that end, I want the league to investigate and institute whatever means necessary to ensure that happens. It could be the introduction of new technology (i.e. sensors that tell if the ball has crossed the goal line), opening up different plays for challenges or removing the challenges from the coaches and on field officials altogether and having a replay official stationed upstairs (like in hockey). I don’t have any other specific suggestions, but I know that when I watch a game that nothing infuriates me more than seeing my team get shafted by a bad call. And if I’m sitting at home watching on TV and I know it’s a bad call, you’d think there would be a way for the officials and teams involved to know that, too, and get it corrected.

3. Institute a short-term injury designation

The NFL is the only professional sports league that doesn’t have some type of temporary disabled list. In the NFL, if a player gets hurt and has to go on Injured Reserve (IR), he’s lost for the rest of the season. Frequently, you see players that suffer four-to-five week injuries get put on IR just to free up the roster spot.

Having a short-term disabled list would be beneficial to the teams, players and fans. Right now when a key player gets hurt teams often have to struggle with the decision on whether to hold out hope and keep the player active or put him on IR and end his season. For the players, they might not feel the need to rush back too soon and face re-injury or making their injury worse. And the fans might get to see their favorite players play more games.

So what about you? What changes would you like to see the NFL make?